Different Types of Yarn for Crochet: Things You Need to Know

green yarn

Crochet has become a trend and many people have started learning how to crochet as a hobby. If you are one of them, then you might have bought quite a few types of crochet yarn to try. But then you found out that some crochet yarn works best with tops, while others are best used for making amigurumi. 

But you don’t have to be confused anymore. Because I will share with you the different types of yarn for crocheting so you know which one to use on which project. 

Crochet yarn weight

You found a pretty shawl on Pinterest and got excited about making one for yourself. First thing first: know what weight the pattern calls for. By knowing what category the crocheter used, you can know what type of yarn you should buy. 

When I first started crocheting, I did not know that there are things like this to consider. I just chose my favorite color and purchased any stock available. I never knew that there are so many types to choose from. 

To my horror, I ended up making a different size than the one the pattern made. Thankfully, the project is not made to be worn, so I can still use it. Beginners should know that there are a lot of yarn types to save them from the mistake I made. 

There are seven weight categories you can find. Woah! Do not be intimidated by this. It is classified that way based on the “weight.” Size one is the thinnest and lightest, while size seven is the bulkiest and heaviest. 

Now that you have learned about the different weights, it is now time to get to know your yarn based on the material used. 

Different types of yarn for crochet

The next thing that you need to know is that crochet yarns are made up of different materials. Some are made of cotton, wool, bamboo, acrylic, etc. Choose the right type according to your needs and you won’t have a problem when choosing your ootd. 

If you live in a hotter country, you would want to use cotton material for wearables as it is cooler. On the other hand, crocheters who live in colder countries tend to use more acrylic or wool. They use materials that add protection against cold weather.

Let us get to know the varied types of yarn to get you ready for your next project!  


Because I live in a country where it is almost summer every day, I use 100% cotton when making wearables. It is very breathable and comfortable to wear during the day or night. Locally, there are many sellers you can choose from if you want to buy the cotton type. 

There are fine cotton, mercerized, and combed cotton yarns. Let us dive deeper into the difference between the three. 

Fine cotton

From the name itself, fine cotton yarn is made up of strands of fine cotton threads. You can find them in solid colors, but variegated colors are available too. It has been becoming widespread due to its cheaper cost and great quality. 

But beware for beginners! This type may not be for you. When I first used this type, I wanted to just sell them to other users. Trying to crochet using the fine cotton type needs some getting used to, so if you are just starting to learn, never use this one for practice. 

However, once you get the hang of it, you would surely love the fine cotton variant. Besides being lighter, tops and cardigans made from fine cotton yarns are very soft to the touch. Other than that, they are also great for making baby wearables as they have less risk of irritating your baby’s soft skin. 

Mercerized cotton

Yarns that are mercerized are more durable and lustrous. If you want your project to be more resistant and shiny, then a mercerized variant is the one for you. One common brand that you could see often is Monaco. 

Previously, Monaco only had three and five-ply. Now, the brand also sells eight-ply. The three-ply falls under the superfine category, while the five-ply is a size two (fine) weight. Meanwhile, eight-ply falls under light or size three. 

Besides Monaco, another brand Cannon is available and is also sold as 175-meter balls. In my opinion, there is not much difference between the two brands, only that I find more sellers selling Monaco online. 

Combed cotton

Combed cotton yarn is called such because it underwent a combing process, making it smoother and softer. It is stronger than other types and is very suitable for making bags, purses, placemats, and kitchen dishcloths. 

Available here in our country are the Dapper Dreamer (DD) 10-ply Combed Cotton and Summer, and Ashley’s Crochet 6-ply Combed Cotton. The DD Combed Cotton falls under size 4, Summer under size 3, and Ashley’s Crochet 6-ply under size 2. 

Milk cotton

Calling out all amigurumi lovers! This is the best yarn for you! Made from the casein found in milk, this milk cotton variant is very breathable, absorbent, and very soft to the touch. The best part of milk cotton is that it stretches, preventing gaps when making amigurumi. 

Do take note that when you are making crochet stuffed toys, you should use one size smaller hook. This way, you could avoid your fillers from showing when you have finished your crochet amigurumi. 


Another fiber type that is cool and breathable is bamboo. The only downside is that it is pretty expensive. Also known as “vegan silk,” bamboo has the same traits as silk. It is soft, lustrous, and draped but is cheaper than silk. 

Although bamboo is great for crocheting, one downside is that it is heavy. Apart from that, bamboo also holds moisture that it absorbs. There are quite a few bamboo yarns available online that are mostly made up of 70% bamboo and 30% cotton. 


Acrylic yarn is great for making swimwear. It does not absorb that much water and dries very quickly. The only problem with acrylic is that it could sometimes irritate the skin. So if you have sensitive skin, you may look for a soft indophil type for making wearables. 


Wool is best worn during the colder months, so it could be your favorite when warming up. However, did you know that you may also use merino wool during the hotter months? A combination of wool and polyester is best used when you want to go on an adventure. 

Shopee shop: The Yarn Barn

I haven’t tried making crochet items with merino wool yet. But I bet they’d make great summer and winter clothing and accessories!

The Yarn Barn even sells wool in combination with acrylic. The size is 2, so you could make clothing with it without worrying about the bulkiness.


Shopee shop: Yarns Art

When talking about sturdiness, there is no doubt that nylon is a part of the list. Made of synthetic material, nylon was first created to imitate many natural fibers. Even if cheaper than natural fiber yarns, nylon has high resistance and is a bit stretchy.  

Polyester Cord

If you want to make a sturdy bag without stretch, then you might want to try out a polyester cord. Available in different sizes, such as 2mm, 3mm, and 4mm, polyester cord works best for projects that need high strength and resistance. 

You need to take note that using the polyester cord for crochet is painful compared with other softer counterparts. But if the final output is worth the pain then why not? 


Another type that is great for making amigurumi is velvet yarn. This type is very soft and cuddly making it a favorite when making stuffed toys for kids. You can also use velvet yarn to make scarves or sweaters to wear if you plan on traveling during the winter. 


Shopee shop: Yarns Antipolo

More commonly known as T-yarn, T-shirt yarn is called such because it is made from recycled T-shirts. You can crochet coasters, placemats, baskets, containers, and bags out of T-shirt yarn. The best part of using recycled T-shirts for crochet projects is that you are sure that they are sturdy and they work up pretty fast. 

Same with a polyester cord, using this type might also cause pain in your wrist. Ensure that you give your hands rest and some exercises to avoid hurting them. 

What to do if the yarn is not available in your country? 

While some imported brands are available for shipping around the world, sometimes paying the shipping fee is not practical. What you can do instead, is search for the details of the yarn used in your chosen pattern, then find a substitute – with the same weight – available in your country. 

For example, I often see Lion Brand 24/7 Cotton yarn from patterns made by international designers. The 24/7 Cotton is a worsted weight and mercerized 100% natural fiber. I would find another yarn that is very accessible in the nearby stores and buy the same weight, and if possible the same fiber, to buy. 

Patterns usually come with the total amount used, so I would try to compute how much yarn was used, and then divide it with each skein to know how many skeins I need to buy. It’s that easy! 

The Takeaway

You are now equipped with the basics when it comes to crochet yarn types. Go ahead and choose your project, buy yarn, and enjoy crocheting! 🙂

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